Lusaka, Monday, November 25, 2019: Last weekend in Lusaka, Zambia was a sports festival as 120 golfers and 16 football teams participated in the COMESA @25 sports activities in the countdown to the regional bloc’s silver jubilee anniversary scheduled on Thursday, November 28, 2019.
On Friday, 120 golfers participated in the COMESA 25th Anniversary Golf tournament at the Bonanza Golf Course, an event that attracted a high turnout of players from the international and business community, diplomatic corps, government, academia and individual golfers. The Trade and Development Bank (TDB), a COMESA institution was the event’s key sponsor.
The golf tournament was the first event of the COMESA Week constituting build-up activities leading to the main celebration of the COMESA Day on Thursday.
On Saturday, a nascent COMESA team conquered 16 teams to lift the trophy in a daylong contest where it overcame Zambia Revenue Authority 4 – 2 in the final. The football competition was organized by COMESA and Barclays Bank of Zambia.
Zambia Minister of Sports Hon. Emmanuel Mulenga was the chief guest. He urged COMESA to make the football competition an annual event going by the interest the commemorative event had attracted. He said COMESA’s choice of football to celebrate its anniversary was spot-on given the uniting power of the sport.
“The power of football is not only in its entertainment value, but its ability to unite everyone. When it comes to football, everybody speaks the same language. There is no language, class, social or cultural barriers in football,” the Minister said.
Zambia’s Minister of Justice Hon. Given Lubinda was the chief guest at the golf event. He said COMESA sets the pace for the entire continent and now provides the strongest building block for the integration of the African continent.
“We are celebrating an organization and its stable of institutions that have outgrown the vision of the founding fathers; that of integrating the eastern and southern African region,” the Minister said.
The immediate former Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Mr. Erastus Mwencha, who is also former Secretary General of COMESA, was part of the first coterie to tee off the tournament. Mr. Mwencha stated that the growth path of COMESA from PTA was motivating given that the organization started with very few members but is now the leading regional bloc in Africa with 21 Member States.
Other corporate sponsors of the golf tournament were the Yellow Card (a COMESA motor vehicle insurance scheme), Ethiopian Airlines, First Capital bank, Zambia, NICO Insurance, KPMG, Black Dot, Fairy Bottling, Kazuma, Liquid Telecoms and Atlas Mara.
Secretary General of COMESA Chileshe Kapwepwe led the staff in the events.